World Arthritis Day (WAD) is a global awareness day aimed towards increasing knowledge of the existence and impact of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) among all audiences. As the alliance of associations representing people with arthritis or other forms of musculoskeletal or rheumatic conditions, health professionals in rheumatology (HPR), and scientific societies of rheumatology in Europe, EULAR considers WAD an integral part of our efforts to promote scientific research, medical education, and awareness of RMDs.
What is the topic for WAD 2023?
World Arthritis Day 2023 aims to build upon last year’s campaign about rheumatology being an invisible specialisation of medicine. To provide more insight, EULAR's WAD 2023 campaign is focused on highlighting the lifetime journey of a person with an RMD, from being a child and paediatric patient to living with the disease as an adult, including its impact on all aspects of life, like growing-up, working, caring for others, or ageing. It will also highlight the role rheumatologists (both paediatric and adult) and diverse healthcare professionals in rheumatology (HPR) play in lifelong treatment.
Why are RMDs important?
RMDs are among the most prevalent, disabling, burdensome, and costly non-communicable diseases and this hidden crisis impacts the lives of over 120 million people of all ages in Europe alone. While healthcare has become a very visible topic of international discussion due to the COVID-19 pandemic, RMDs remain largely unknown and unaddressed throughout Europe and beyond, despite their seriousness and prevalence.
World Arthritis Day 2023 - ‘Living with an RMD at all stages of life’
A brochure including multiple patient stories in order to highlight the need for additional support for people with RMDs.
Featuring stories from patients, adult and paediatric rheumatologists, and other healthcare professionals in rheumatology.
Join our webinar ‘Living with an RMD at all stages of life’ on
12 October at 14:00 CEST.
Read more here
What does it mean to live with an RMD?
Currently, there is no cure for most of the RMDs, diagnosis is often delayed, and treatment should be adhered to for many years if not lifelong. This means regular check-ups with the rheumatologist and related team, in more severe cases hospital stays or surgery followed by rehabilitation and physiotherapy all taking considerable time and energy and leading to lots of uncertainty about the future for the individual.
As a result, RMDs have a huge impact on the quality of life of those affected. Without proper access to diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and social services, people with RMDs can face significant barriers in education, work life, relationships and founding a family, social life and daily activities. All of this is accompanied by chronic pain, side effects of medication, setbacks, fear, loneliness, depression and fatigue that influence the life not only of the person with the RMD but also of family members and caregivers.
People with RMDs Brochure
Read the real stories of resilience and hope from individuals living with an Rheumatic Musculoskeletal Disease (RMDs). The People with RMDs Testimonials Brochure provides a glimpse into their journey, providing practical information and support. Gain knowledge and inspiration from their stories to better understand and manage RMDs.
Peter, 39 years
Diagnosed with RA and Fibromyalgia in 2011, forced to leave his job and retrain because of his condition.
Simone, 37 years
Recently diagnosed with the rare disease of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE).
Ovidiu, 60 years
He has been living with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) for half of his adult life.
RMDs at work Brochure
People with RMDs experience more restrictions to participating in paid jobs compared to people in the general population in nearly all European countries.
One of the most common reasons for this is that people with RMDs experience symptoms of pain and functional limitations caused by their disease.
RMDs account for up to 60% of prolonged sickness absence and work disability in the European Union and are one of the leading causes of work disability in each country.
How to join?
EULAR prepared a toolkit where you can find a description of EULAR, its WAD 2023 activities, messages for your social media activity as well as the logo.
For more information about EULAR's activities and communities, subscribe to the EULAR Monthly Newsletter.